Over the Rhine, Ohio Real Estate

Over the Rhine, Ohio Real Estate

Over the Rhine

Downtown Cincinnati's Over the Rhine district is filled with a concentration of some of the most architecturally significant buildings in the country.  The housing stock varies from late Victorian, to Italianate to Greek Revival.  The district is on the National Register of Historic Places.Miami and Erie Canal

The area is roughly bordered on the west and south by Central Parkway.  When the area was founded, Central Parkway was the Miami and Erie Canal. This lithograph shows the southwest corner of the Miami and Erie Canal where it turns to the east.. Looking south, you can see St. Peter in chains Catholic Church and Plum Street Temple.

The area attracted foreign immigrants and reminded them of their roots in Germany's Rhine district.  In fact, in 1840, over 50% or the residents came from Germany.

In recent years, the area has inspired extensive restoration and renovation.  In 2011, CityBeat's Best of Cincinnati issue named Over the Rhine as best Cincinnati neighborhood. 

Historic German influence                              

Stories of the neighborhood abound related to its immigrant roots.  The neighborhood had such a strong identity by 1900 that there were thirty German periodicals, a German language theater, forty eight churches and synagogues, militia units, six cemeteries and numerous singing societies.

Along Vine street there were over fifty saloons, beer gardens and concert halls...all staples of German society.

With the arrival of World War I, German sentiments were changing and negative feeling changed the community.  German was no longer taught in Cincinnati Public Schools.  Over 13 streets with German names were renamed.





Areas within Over the Rhine                             Cincinnati's Bockfest

Over-the-Rhine Brewery District

This area was the heart of Cincinnati's beer brewing district.  The best known brewery in the area was the Christian Morelein Brewing Co, founded in 1853.  It eventually covered three city blocks and was one of the largest breweries in the country.  Prohibition ended the company in 1920.

One of today's current activities is the annual Bockfest.  It celebrates the brewing history of the area and the coming of Spring.  Various bock beers brewed again in the neighborhood are featured.  This year the Hudepohl 14K Brewery Run is back along a route around Over the Rhine. It will be held on September 17th, over Octoberfest weekend.Hudepohl 14K Brewery Run - Over the Rhine Cincinnati

A special tour of the district demonstrates the impact of Prohibition on the area.  Called the Original Prohibition Resistance Tour, there are two different tours available, the Lager Tour and the Marzen Tour.


Gateway Quarter

This sub-district of Over the Rhine is an exciting area of economic redevelopment.  The City of Cincinnati and corporate leaders made a commitment to jumpstart the area.  To do that, they established the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC)  It has developed the Gateway Quarter and now is busy developing Washington Park to the west of Gateway Quarter.

The Gateway Quarter is one of the few areas of new construction in the area.  The mixed-use development is made up of rentals, condos, parking and commercial space.  Local retail shops continue to grow and expand.

Washington ParkWashington Park - Over the Rhine Cincinnati

A tremendous transformation is underway in the area surrounding Washington Park while the Park itself is being totally redone.  The changes are being overseen by the Cincinnati Park Board and 3CDC.  The eight acre pare will include performance stages, a play area and water feature for children, dog park, and large civic lawn.  Underneath will be a 450-car parking garage that will service the needs of residents as well as those attending events at Memorial Hall, the School for the Creative and Performing Arts or Music Hall.

The vision is for a lovely green space that is inviting to the general public for additional civic events.  The hope is that it will be a destination for urban activities and living.


Sometimes called the Pendleton Arts District, Pendleton is the neighborhood best known for its arts community. Artist lofts and exciting art related activities occur with regularity.  The large Pendleton Art Center sponsors Final Friday gallery openings.  Throughout the eight story building, artists, potters and sculptors open their studios to the public and their art for sale.

Findlay Market

Findlay Market is the oldest continuously operating farmer's market in Ohio.  Of particular note is the iron frame construction technology used when the building was built in 1855.  Essentially the shopping center of this time period, it is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

As of 2010, the market was 100% occupied and demand continues for spaces.  Local farmers frequent the stalls with fresh goods.  Everything from goetta to cheeses, gelato to Belgian waffles, and jellies to salsa are available. Local Cincinnatians enjoy the sights , sounds and tastes of the Market and go home to prepare the freshest food ever.  What a treat!

Housing in Over the Rhine                                    

With the re-emergence of the Over the Rhine area, there is much renovation of old and neglected housing and new, infill construction as well.  Sale prices of single families and condos in 2010 ranged from a low of $7,500 to $925,000.  The average price was $221,428; median price was $195,000.

Architecture in Over the Rhine                             

The New York Times describes Over the Rhine for "its scale and grace reminiscent of Greenwich Village."  The collection of historic architecture was primarily built of brick and stone between 1865 -1890.  Styles represented include Italianate, Queen Anne, Greek Revival and simple vernacular.

Italianate Architecture

Cincinnati's Over the Rhine is known for having the largest single collection of Italianate buildings in the United States.  Italianate homes are typically two or three stories high with flat or hip roofs, bay windows with inset wood panels and corner boards and two over two double-hung windows. In Cincinnati, most are either made of brick or cut and decorated stone.

This style home tends to be vertical in nature because of the tall windows.  A recessed door, or two sets of doors is common at the entry.

Other common components of the style are emphatic eaves supported by corbels, pedimented of arch-headed windows, tall first floor windows, attics with a row of awning windows between the eave brackets, balustrades concealing the roof-scape and low -pitched roofs with a wide projection with towers often being incorporated.  Part of its appeal was the ability to add decorative elements like brackets and cornices, often of cast iron or press-metal technology. 



Queen Anne Style Architecture

Queen Anne houses are usually brick on the first floor with wood shingles, stucco or clapboard on the upper floors.  Most are irregular in their plans with asymmetrical form and hip or multi-gabled roofs.  It is common to see towers, dormer windows, stained glass,bay windows, turrets, encircling porches and tall chimneys.  There are often decorative patterns in the brick.  Often a combination of colors were used .

The style originated in England and was names for the period of architecture that evolved under the reign of Queen Anne. It is the style most associated with Victorian homes.  The style was commonly used in Cincinnati form 1880-1900.  You will easily recognize it when it has decorative "gingerbread."


Greek Revival Architecture

In Cincinnati, most Greek Revival homes were built between 1835-1860.  They are usually symmetrical, simple in their details and constructed of either brick or wood.  In Over the Rhine, the German immigrants would have preferred solid brick.

 Roofs tended to have a low pitch.  Attic windows were often incorporated in the front over the decorative band that ran the length of the house.  Doorways could have been recessed with sidelights and transom windows.  They were commonly painted white.  In crowded Over the Rhine, you most often see simple, two-story row houses with this type of detailing.





Vernacular Style Architecture

Many homes in the area are a combination of styles and some don't have strong characteristics of any style.  They are simple in form and detailing.  In other words, they are utilitarian shelters built by their owners and probably not designed by architects.  Details tend to be lacking on this style compared to other common types of homes.

Landmarks in Over the Rhine                 

Music Hall - home of the Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops and the May Festival, it was built in 1878. It will undergo extensive renovations starting in 2012. Designed by Samuel Hannaford, the building would be called an example of Venetian Gothic style.  On the National Register of Historic Places.






Memorial Hall - home of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.  Its architectural style would be called Beaux Arts. Also designed by Samuel Hannaford.  The hall seats 612 seat in the auditorium. On the National Register of Historic Places, it honors the sailors, soldiers, Marines and pioneers of the area.




Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati - Ensemble Theater has been open since 1988.  It presents works new works and works new to the region.











Know Theater of Cincinnati - produces cultural and contemporary theater.  They also host the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, one of the largest arts festivals in Cincinnati











School for the Creative and Performing Arts - They moved to this modern building in 2009.  This K-12 selective arts magnet school, part of the Cincinnati Public Schools, is the first of its kind in the nation.  It was founded in 1973 and has been in numerous buildings around the city, including Woodward School on the left, until finally having this new home.










Car Barn of the Cincinnati Inclined Plane Railway / currently Nichola's Restaurante - The car barn was originally built around 1875 for the incline that serviced the Mt. Auburn hill, allowing workers to leave the area for cleaner neighborhoods.  The railway line eventually went all the way to the Cincinnati Zoo.  Currently, it is the home of Nichola's Resaurante, one of the top rated Cincinnati eateries with an Italian twist.


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